“Good relations only hurt those who don’t have any”
Luxembourg is known as a hub for business, progress, and innovation. It is characterized not only by its exceptionally strong political, cultural, and business relations with its surrounding countries, but also by a high degree of internationality. Due to its economic stability, Luxembourg was once again awarded this year with a AAA rating by Moody’s.
But it is not only due to the excellent economic conditions that makes the only Grand Duchy in the world so attractive as a location for companies that are nationally and internationally active. Above all, it is the easy access to a broad and diverse network that is essential for business success. Those who set up their business there, benefit from short distances and from numerous initiatives and events that are accessible to everyone. To make new contacts and explore business opportunities even during the pandemic, a wide variety of digital event concepts have been launched – in addition to the numerous physical events. A perfect starting base for networkers.
But where to start? Which organizations deal with the topics that are relevant for me and where to find fitting events? Hereafter, we give a brief overview – from the financial industry to the startup scene.
Luxembourg is not only the world’s financial center with the highest degree in internationalization, but also the largest fund center in Europe. Organizations such as the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) and the agency for the development of the financial center (Luxembourg for Finance) offer numerous events to promote exchange within the industry and provide a tremendous transfer of knowledge. In addition to that, LuxFLAG, the label association for sustainable financial products, bundles all important information on sustainable finance in the Grand Duchy. Meanwhile, more than 125 banks from over 25 countries are based there, and the number of FinTechs is also rising continuously. They favor the transfer of know-how and contribute with their product ideas to meet the banks’ increasing need for innovation and digitalization. The LHoFT (Luxembourg House of Financial Technology) as a central FinTech Hub promotes the close cooperation of financial, technology institutions and FinTechs to bring together innovative solutions, resources as well as the right contacts. Furthermore, the LHoFT acts an interface for venture capital firms, investors, financial service providers and associations to represent mutual interests and bring together partners with the same ambitions. Click here for the current event overview.
Luxembourg’s startup scene offers much more besides FinTechs. The ecosystem is thriving with over 350 startups in ICT, space, FinTech, HealthTech, CleanTech and Cybersecurity. In total, there are over 15 incubators, accelerators, and innovation hubs. In addition to the LHoFT, the House of Startups (HoST) unites the Luxembourg-City Incubator (LCI) under one roof and is an initiative of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. Funding programs such as Fit4Start annually showcase the most promising startups and their ideas, giving banks, business angels and venture capital investors a good insight into the thriving startup scene.
In 2021, the new platform Startup Luxembourg has been launched. It bundles all important news around the dynamic ecosystem. The portal is a public initiative of the Ministry of Economy and Luxinnovation, the national innovation agency. It brings together the most important players, from founders to companies and investors.
Internationalization – Luxembourg builds bridges
Networking does not only take place locally, but also across national borders. Especially in times of the pandemic, it is even more important to build and maintain business relationships abroad. The extensive program of the Chambre de Commerce (e.g. Go International or GET2Know Your Neighbors) offers an ideal opportunity to open up new markets and establish contacts digitally and remotely.
Various business clubs in the surrounding neighboring countries of Germany, Belgium and France provide the opportunity to take a look beyond the national border. They promote the exchange of experiences and interests between companies from different business sectors.
If the EU is not yet far enough for you, you can benefit, for example, from the excellent and long-standing relationship between Luxembourg and China. In addition to the organizations mentioned above, CHINALUX promotes bilateral trade relations between the two countries. This initiative brings together people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and creates a common understanding – the basis for successful cooperation. Click here for an event overview.
„No man is an island…” (John Donne)
… and this is true not only in private life, but also in business. No one can be successful alone. It is the people who accompany, shape, inspire, encourage and/or motivate us on our way there. Exchanging experiences with different people from different fields not only brings a welcome change to the daily work routine, but also offers fresh ideas and helps to look at topics from a different perspective. Authenticity is the key to success. And do not forget, networking is not a one-way street and always works in two directions. Let’s make it happen.
Sonja Becker is Sales & Business Development Manager at Zortify, a Luxembourg-based tech company developing innovative AI-based product solutions for better decision making in HR and Investment. Previously, she worked in business development at Hauck & Aufhäuser and has 15 years of experience in sales support, client acquisition, corporate communication, and project & event coordination.